Read: Romans 3:19-28
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Two Things That Are True About You
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Just because someone says, “Only kids like hot dogs” doesn’t mean it’s true. There are lots of hot-dog loving kids, but lots of adults like hot dogs too. Or what if you said, “Everyone who likes hot dogs also likes hamburgers”? Is that true? What about that one person who likes hot dogs but doesn’t like hamburgers? Here’s the point: It’s hard to say something that is true about everyone. Someone likes the color blue. Others like green. Or red. Everyone is different.
In our lesson from Romans, Paul says there is one thing that is true of everyone in the entire world: all have sinned. The Bible says this truth in many different places. In Isaiah: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” In the Psalms: “There is no one who does good, not even one.” The Bible is clear. Every human being is a sinner. Say it with me, “I am a sinner.” And that sin makes us fall short of God’s glory.
But listen to something else that Paul says, and it is also true, even though it sounds like it shouldn’t be: “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” It means even though you’ve been bad and done wrong, you are still right with God. How is that possible? Because Jesus made everything right on the cross.
Think hard about this: All have sinned, and all are saved. All have fallen short of God’s glory, and all are redeemed by Christ. How is it possible for both of these things to be true at the same time? This is the beauty of what Jesus has done for us: he takes our sin on the cross and replaces it with his holiness.
When it comes to being right with God, get what “we do” out of the picture. Get what Jesus has done for you in the picture! He’s made me right with God. You are right with God! It’s what everyone in our world needs: salvation, full, free, in Christ.
By faith alone, you are his! Lord keep us steadfast in this truth.
Christ Jesus, you saw a sinner like me and saved me. Now I stand before my God forgiven and set free. May my entire life be lived to your glory! Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Some people try to get to heaven by working really hard and being a really good person. They don’t think they need Jesus to get there. Why is that a big mistake?
- Jesus didn’t use money to buy us back from sin, death, and the devil. What did he use instead?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- “Grace” means “undeserved love.” Based on what we just read together, why was Jesus’ love to us undeserved?
- “Redemption” means “to buy something back.” The Bible says that Jesus “redeemed” us. What did he buy us back from?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- “Justify” is a way of saying, “Not guilty.” If “all are justified freely” by Jesus and found not guilty of our sins, why won’t everyone go to heaven?
- Some people would say that we must make our decision for Christ in order to be saved. Why is that actually impossible to do?